Monday, September 30, 2013

Lights...Camera...(almost) Action!

Finally set up the lighting.  This is the first serious layer of any Halloween that I do.  The wiring has to go up before anything else can.  First up was to put together THE most important element of the entire thing--getting electricity outside.  I have a socket adapter that screws into the porch light and turns it into an outlet.  I also try and put everything on a timer, but timers only have 1 outlet, so it also requires an outlet splitter.

Socket adapter (~$2 @ home depot)            Timer (any basic one will do)           Outlet splitter

Foam painting

Finished up spray painting the backs of the coral fence--had just enough in the can to lightly do the backs of all four pieces.  Fortunately they don't have to be nearly as densely painted as the fronts--the darkness will greatly help with this.  Next up is to attach them to the fence and make sure that they'll be able to stand up in the yard.

Also finished painting the rest of the foam critters, including two large starfish.  Still debating if I should make more of the kelp.  Had 2 cans of the expandable foam, but they must have been old, cause neither worked!  Would like to make a couple more small additions to the sea witch kitchen to match the shelf I made, so should probably pick up some anyway.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Color changing bulbs...part 2

Found a little gem the other day (from in my constant search for new and fancy bulbs.  These are replacement bulbs for a c7 strand (which I have several of, and use all around Halloween because the bulbs can be changed out for different colors), but these bulbs are the color changing ones--and LED.  Which means awesome things for my wattage.  I've been trying to convert as many of my lights over to LED as possible--easier on the wiring of the old house.

They were a little pricey (~$1.60 a bulb) but because they're LED, they'll last a lot longer than a normal bulb would.  They're also brighter, and are exactly what I need for my jellyfish this year.  I was going to resort to just using the ice cube lights, which would have been a bummer to have to switch on manually.  These I can put on a timer--if they're as awesome as I'm hoping--fingers crossed!

How much is that tentacle in the window?

Put up the paper tentacle today. Made out of hot pink poster board,  it curls across one side of the large front window.  Making it was kind of like putting together a large puzzle... that you make as you go.

First I took an expo marker and drew the basics of what I wanted space wise straight onto the glass.  This proved to be a great way to begin.

Next, I put the poster board up against the window and traced out the shapes in pencil. I did this in the daylight, so the expo marker was dark enough to see through the poster board.  I cut them out,  then went over the edges in black marker. The suckers were added (in sharpie) afterwards, once I was sure how they were going to fit on the window.  Once everything was in place, I taped everything securely.  I also did marks (outlines and suckers) on both sides of the paper--just so that it would also look cool from the inside as well.  I'm also thinking I'll hang some of the homemade seaweed/kelp  over the pumpkins, just to give it a little more depth.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Faux Seaweed

Found an awesome tutorial that utilized black paper bags to make seaweed.  Which is timely, because I was going to go dig through my fake plant/ivy stores and see what looked the most like seaweed.  This stuff actually does look like seaweed.  And with relatively little effort.  But the best thing about this project is that it can be done bit by bit rather mindlessly while watching a movie or something.  So it's a great 'break' project to have.

Basically, you strip the garbage bags into 2" inch strips.  I slit the sides (but not the bottom) so that they would be extra long.  I folded it up to make it easier to cut through--otherwise, it takes forever, and the lines aren't as even.

Next, you take each strip and stretch the middle out, or pull simultaneously at the sides--either way, you can't really screw this up.  You do this all along the strip.  I left a little alone at the top of each one in case it needed to tape or tie them together.  I'm planning on spraying these with a bit of green paint--possibly a bit of the fluorescent paint so that it'll show up under the black light.  I'm also thinking I'll make a bunch--they're a great, cheap, and easy prop to have to cover blank spots, and put in front of wiring to hide it away.  And one bag goes a ways--2 bags gave me about 30 strips.  Also thinking I'll put a bunch inside, so yeah....garbage bags are going on the grocery list!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

IT HAS BEGUN!!!!!!!!

Okay, that was a little dramatic.... But I officially started decorating the living room.  Pulled out a couple of bins of Halloween.  I really need to assess what I actually have before I can go out and get what I need.  Decided to do a quick project.  In the past, I've done the light cubes with the polymers, which has worked well, but I was thinking I would try to do something more on timers.  Everything else is going to be very not on timers this year, I'm trying to automate everything I can.  So I took a mid-sized cauldron and made a hole at the bottom, just large enough to fit a light bulb through.

Next, I took an old glass I didn't mind sacrificing, and taped it over the whole with duct tape.  Couldn't find the black/dark, so had to make do with the gigantic roll of white I bought at home depot today.  I put a socket with a red bulb up through the hole.  The main thing is for the glass to be clear, and fixed securely to the bottom--so that no water leaks under it.  Will have to rehydrate some polymers, and possibly get some more, but I'd like to get the witch kitchen so that all the lights can be turned on automatically with timers.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Potion bottle

Picked up some air dry clay to try out a project of a picture I came across and loved--especially for this year's sea witch kitchen theme.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DIY Tentacle inflatable

This is a project that came over me in a kind of mad haze.  Maybe it was looking at too many pictures of the awesome tentacles that you can rent, but I got the urge to try for something even vaguely resembling it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Foam painting--large parts

Took a pass at spray painting the larger foam components to the reef.  The coral went bright red, and the kelp a (rather expensive) fluorescent green (may have to make more of those).  I hadn't looked at the coral in awhile, and I was more impressed with them than when they first really set up.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Halloween present!

Awwwww!  Sam got me a cute little skull and bone dip and spreader--adorable.  I'm thinking the brain dip will go in there--which works out well--no more molds!

Sea Witch Shelf

After a couple of hours talking/brainstorming with Sam, came up with the idea of doing something different for the sea witch shelf.  Instead of adding onto the old curio cabinet, had the thought of hobbling together a basic shelf with cardboard and duct tape.  From our mountainous pile of cardboard, I pulled out a large long narrow open box.  And conveniently, 3 pieces of solid cardboard that was (almost) the exact width of the box.  So I jammed the pieces in the box and secured them with lots of duct tape.

Monday, September 16, 2013

DIY Creepy lampshade

So one of my projects was to take a regular lampshade (white, drum, smooth) and mod podge some stuff on to it to make it a little more Halloween-esque.  Found a really great tutorial online that was using book pages, and just adapted the techniques for the larger sketches.

I got some anatomy sketches from Leonardo DaVinci, and printed them off onto cream/beige colored paper, then cut them down a bit.  Working in sections, I slathered a patch on the lampshade with mod podge (with the gloss), lightly dampened the back of the paper, then laid it in place.  Mod podged all over it, then moved onto the next section.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Got started on the tentacles for my sea witch dress.  Had gotten some shiny fabric in dark purple and a turquoise-ish blue.  I cut them into matching triangle shaped pieces.  Picked through my button stash and found two sizes of very similar colors and began the arduous task of sewing them onto the triangles to simulate suckers.  The idea is to sew these tentacles to the underskirt of the dress.  I have some heavy gauge wire to mold them into a bit more animation (though I might need a little stronger--the weight of the batting takes a toll on the wire's ability to hold up the fabric).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ice King Costume

Helped a bit with an Ice King costume for Sam's friend.  We took (my) white bed sheet and dyed it a proper blue.  Then measured and pinned it into a poncho shaped tunic, then did a couple of (mostly) straight lines to achieve a basic tunic.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

LSP Costume

So Sam has commissioned a Lumpy Space Princess (LSP) costume for comic con that is coming up next month.  After talking with Sarah about it, we've been able to get fabric and a general plan.  The skirt will be a basic tulip-esque design--puffed at the bottom.  The top is just a tshirt that we've dyed purple to match the shade of the fabric, but with puffed sleeves sewn on, and some alterations to the neckline.

Here is Sarah washing the tshirt to ready it for the dye....And here am I having reached the exact shade of purple of our lavender fabric.